detail, “purple storm” ~ Jozsef Szoke

purple is the color of the sky
when the last of the sun has disappeared
and the wind dies down
and all the birds are silent
but you didnʻt notice when that happened,
and you wrap yourself a little tighter
because itʻs not cold enough yet
to feel the warmth sneaking from the ground
but somehow the warmth is sneaking from you
just you canʻt feel it leaving, only the cold that comes into you
like it was always there

i canʻt remember why
but it must have been for a really good reason
i mean, mothers donʻt hit their daughter so hard
(i think it was the metal spoon that we used to scrape the bottom of the big pot for making stew, the one as long as my 6 year old arm, that slammed into my sisterʻs forehead that suddenly shockingly quiet morning)
that she canʻt go to school
while you watch
it must have been my fault
but it canʻt be
iʻm so glad it wasnʻt me this time
but iʻm supposed to 
take care of her so she doesnʻt get hurt
while she stood there in her pink dress
i donʻt think she cried
or screamed
but when i got home from school that afternoon
i took the teaspoon from the icebox
like my mother told me to
and gently put it against the dark stain
that had risen out of my sisterʻs head
trying to erase something
that all of us had made

when you pinch your body
maybe it goes red between your fingers
kind of warm but not tingly kind of warm
or maybe it is white
with a sharpness while your fingers tremble
trying to hold them together tight enough
or maybe if you look closely enough,
long enough
you see the impossibly fine red lines blue lines 
until it hurts so much
you canʻt feel anymore

a life of its own
it canʻt be me

it was in that extraordinary quiet
before anyone else awoke
before the birds started to call
before you could tell if there were clouds in the sky or not
when everything was bathed in a soft, muffled light
as i stared,
at the outline of the eaves
of the telephone line outside my window
forgetting the night
forgetting yesterday
forgetting today
i swear
i could see everything limned
in an electric glow
that no one else could ever see